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Controlling Human Smuggling in the Netherlands: How the Smuggling of Human Beings Was Transformed into a Serious Criminal Offence

  • Richard Staring
Part of the Studies in Organized Crime book series (SOOC, volume 7)

Just before the summer holidays of 2005, the Dutch National Criminal Investigation Service arrested ten members of a violent Chinese gang. All detainees were suspected of human smuggling, drug trafficking, extortion and liquidations. Police not only found large amounts of drugs and money, but also came across 24 automatic firearms, among which several Uzi’s. The Chinese gang members were allegedly heavily involved in smuggling Chinese from their home country through the Netherlands to the United Kingdom. Smuggled immigrants had to pay up to forty or even fifty thousand euros for their journey and according to the police the gang members were prepared to use violence towards defaulters. In addition, the police suspected some of the arrested gang members of being linked to previously apprehended snakeheads of other Chinese smuggling organizations (Meeus, 2005). Since the turn of the millennium,the Chinese in the Netherlands have acquired the reputation of being involved in professionally organized human smuggling through Eastern European countries to the UK, using safe houses in harbour cities such as Rotterdam. The involvement of Chinese immigrants with human smuggling in the Netherlands became explicitly visible through the “Dover case.” In this tragedy on June 18, 2000, 58 Chinese smuggled immigrants on their way to the United Kingdom suffocated in a refrigerated cargo container. The “Dover case” put the Netherlands on the map as a transit country for human smuggling although it wrongly focused solely on Chinese smugglers.

Keywords

Organize Crime Asylum Seeker Human Trafficking Illegal Immigrant Gang Member 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer 2008

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  • Richard Staring

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